150 UCL Engineering staff and students came together in early March to enjoy a formal dinner, hear from peers and special guests, and recognise their collective achievement in implementing the unique teaching and learning framework that is the Integrated Engineering Programme.
The event, which took place at Senate House in Central London, celebrated the IEP’s award-winning success in the Higher Education Academy’s Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence (CATE). Although the IEP received its CATE Award from the HEA in November 2017, a Faculty-wide celebration of this honour was deemed fitting, as the IEP’s implementation and day-to-day running is down to the hard work of staff and students across ten UCL Engineering Departments, from teaching fellows, researchers and postgraduate teaching assistants to student ambassadors and administrators.
IEP Director Emanuela Tilley noted that it was “important to get the whole Faculty together, not only to celebrate everybody’s hard work in delivering the IEP, but also to allow each Department to showcase itself.” Dean of Engineering Science Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker echoed this sentiment, commenting that the evening was “an opportunity to share in what we have achieved as individuals, [and] crucially as effective teams.” Professor Titchener-Hooker also emphasised how the IEP has “reached new heights in education through novel approaches, driven new paradigms in teaching and explored new territories where others are now following”, stressing that such innovation “is why UCL Engineering is increasingly recognised as a leader in education… UCL Engineering staff are seen as the professionals delivering the globally relevant engineering education that makes our graduates distinctive and uniquely skilled for the careers that lie ahead of them.”
The evening began with an address from the Dean and a speech from special guest Professor John Perkins CBE, former Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. Professor Perkins highlighted that the engineering education framework at UCL is a model for the sector to follow. Emanuela Tilley and UCL Arena’s Dr Jason Davies then presented replica CATE Awards to the nine UCL Engineering Departments who have played an integral role in the IEP’s initiation, success and journey so far.
Over 100 PhD students from across UCL Engineering help support teaching and learning on IEP modules each year, and the contribution of these postgraduate teaching assistants (PGTAs) was also recognised during the evening, with the presentation of the IEP Teaching Excellence Awards. Senior Teaching Fellows Dr Kate Roach and Dr Abel Nyamapfene and IEP Senior Teaching and Learning Administrator Alexandra Reffell presented the following awards:
After being nominated in every category, Charnett was the deserved winner of the Best Overall PGTA Contribution Award.
Special guest Lori Houlihan, UCL Vice-Provost: Development, discussed UCL Engineering’s impact on teaching innovation, stating that the IEP is “an inspirational and innovative programme that truly breaks the mould; it will have huge influence within UCL and far beyond. The impressive levels of cross-disciplinary collaboration, combined with a creative outlook, will have an immense impact on the sector and future generations of students and alumni.” Professor John Mitchell, former IEP Director and UCL Engineering Vice Dean Education, explains that the IEP “came about from a growing realisation that engineers of the future would have to be different. We needed to be producing UCL Engineering graduates who were at ease with teamwork, imbued with great communication skills and who understood engineering’s role in wider society, but who crucially still had the rigorous technical knowledge our programmes are known for, and who also had plenty of experience in putting that knowledge into practice. To achieve this we felt that we needed to teach differently – with the result being the IEP.”
The evening drew to a close with a special IEP video showcasing the involvement of the UCL Engineering Departments involved with the Integrated Engineering Programme. IEP Director Emanuela Tilley commented that the must-watch film gives a unique insight into the IEP in 2018, “reflecting the breadth and depth of this Faculty, as well as our collective efforts to invigorate engineering education at UCL. The IEP is a dynamic entity, which simply couldn’t happen without collaboration. This emphasis on interdisciplinarity is enabling our undergraduates to receive a truly unique and award-winning education.”
For more images of the evening, view our CATE Celebration Flickr album.